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Super Rugby | Johannesburg
17:10 (GMT) | 30-05-2015
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Join us for more live coverage of Super Rugby next week as the Hurricanes take on the Highlanders first up in Round 17.
  • 80
Waratahs chucking everything at it as they look to run it 80 metres. Smith makes the turnover and Skosan runs it out to bring the game to FULL-TIME.
  • 78
Lions penalised for pulling the scrumhalf in the ruck and Foley kicks for touch. Last roll of the dice for both teams.
  • 77
Lions inching closer and are hammering at the line, Smit controlling well at the base. Boshoff cuts in and he looses it forward when he tries to place the ball. Waratahs scrum on their own 5m.
  • 75
Lions right back in the 22m of the Waratahs and are packing down for a scrum.
  • 73
Jantjies has a shot for goal, but he fades is wide again!
  • 72
De Klerk breaks blind and switches with Combrink who does well. Smith is tackled out for a Lions throw. Play is reviewed and Phibbs is penalised for tackling a player without the ball.
  • 70
Foley kicks for touch but the Lions steal the line-out. The ball finds touch again for a Lions throw. the Waratahs turn it over and spread it wide to Folau, Combrink reads play well and meets Folau with the tackle and forces a knock-on. The Lions have a scrum on their 10m.
  • 68
Vorster puts a delicate chip over the top and he collects it and plays Whiteley. The Lions are into theTahs 22m. The ball comes left and Coetzee steps pat 3 defenders. Fourie takes it on but the ball pops out and the Waratahs have a scrum in their 22m. Foley clears and Coetzee replies but Mostert is penalised for being in front of the kicker.
  • 65
Jantjies has pushed another one, and that is 6 points gone a begging.
  • 63
Lions secure the ball and set the maul. They are given a penalty for Roach swimming around. Another opportunity for Jantjies to kick 3 points.
  • 62
Jantjies hits the post and the Waratahs clear for touch.
  • 61
Its a big shove from the pack and the Lions have the penalty. Jantjies will have a shot at goal.
  • 60
Naiyaravoro makes a break through the middle from the restart, De Klerk puts a courageous tackle in. Waratahs move it left and the Lions swarm the ball for a turnover scrum.
  • 59
Foleys kick is good from the corner.
  • 58
The Waratahs swing it wide from the line-out and use the hands to release Horne down the wing and he easily runs over for a try.
  • 56
Waratahs with their tails up are looking dangerous, but the Lions defence is strong. Lions are penalised for not rolling away and Foley kicks it in the corner.
  • 54
Jantjies restarts high, but the Waratahs secure well and are attacking around the halfway. The game is opening up, as Skosan hacks a loose ball through, its a favourable bounce and he is over for a try. But after a review play is brought back for a scrum as Coetzee knocked on.
  • 52
Foley, from the corner, can't convert.
  • 50
Waratahs secure the a ball and play wide. Lions are offside and they give away a penalty. Phibbs taps and goes quickly. The forwards a rumbling up, but Beale eventually floats one over for Ashley-Cooper to score in the corner.
  • 49
Lions pinged for illegal scrumming. Waratahs kick for the corner.
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Jantjies easily converts the kick to extend the lead.
  • 47
Lions counter well and Combrink is away down the touchline and he offloads to Vorster who is away untouched and scores under the poles.
  • 46
Lions secure the line-out after they kicked for touch. De Klerk plays a pod of forwards before he goes wide to Vorster and he puts a nothing grubber through. The tahs restart with a sneaky 22 and Beale chips and chases and collects he is away. He finds Hoiles in support but he is swamped from behind by Kriel to force the knock-on. Lions counter and spread wide.
  • 45
Jaco Peyper is reviewing a fould play and Potgieter is shown a yellow card for a late hit on Whiteley. Penalty Lions.
  • 44
Skosan fields the restart and De Klerk kicks it high and Phibbs spills it. The Lions look to counter but Vorster knocks it on and the Waratahs use the advantage as Ashley-Cooper makes metres, but his switch pass goes to ground.
  • 43
Jantjies converts the penalty to extend the Lions lead.
  • 42
Lions get an early attacking position with a scrum on the 22m of the Waratahs. Lions given a penalty straight from the engage and Jantjies will have a shot at goal.
  • 41
SECOND-HALF: Lions flyhalf Elton Jantjies gets the half underway.

Half Time

  • 40
Beales kick sales wide taking the game to HALF-TIME.
  • 39
Naiyaravoro takes a flat pass from the scrum but the Lions are penalised at the scrum for scrumming in on the angle. Beale will have a shot at goal on the stroke of half-time.
  • 38
Lions now with a scrum on their 10m, and they earn a penalty. The kick for touch goes too far over the dead-ball line and play comes back for a Waratahs scrum.
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Jantjies converts from kick to add the extra 2 points.
  • 34
Lions now on attack and Combrink busts straight through, he is tackled in the 22m. The Lions regroup and make their way closer to the try-line. De Klerk plays left to Combrink again, and Combrink shrugs off Ashley-Cooper for the try.
  • 32
Ashley-Cooper makes a bust out wide as he fends off Mapoe, but Coetzee tackles him out. Lions secure the line-out and Combrink kicks down field.
  • 30
Kriel secures the restart and Combrink puts a high kick in but Foley fields well, but Lions swamp the breakdown and counter ruck for the turnover, but De Klerk over cooks a kick to touch.
  • 28
The strike is good, and the direction too as he adds 3 points to the Lions.
  • 27
Jantjies is going to attempt a 40m kick for poles.
  • 26
Lions win the scrum and are playing under advantage, play is brought back for a dangerous tackle by Horne on Mapoe. Horne is shown the Yellow Card.
  • 25
Lions have a line-out on the Tahs 10m. which they just secure and spread wide from Jantjies. Van der Merwes basketball offload goes forward to Combrink. The Tahs set for the scrum.
  • 23
Tecklenburg secures the line-out and Jantjies shifts the ball wide. De Klerk snipes around the breakdown and is clean through, his offload to Whiteley goes forward. Tahs given a short arm from the scrum that Foley puts high.
  • 21
Skosan fields a kick from Folau, and he counters from his own line, he finds Kriel who burts through tackles making 50m . Mapoe then puts a grubber through into touch 5m from the Tahs line. Waratahs secure the line-out and clear for tocu taking play up to their 10m line.
  • 19
Foley kicks the conversion from in front of the poles.
  • 18
Foley is going to kick for the corner. Dennis secures the line-out and they set the maul. Phibbs plays Foley and he attacks the line. Chapman makes a good run and offloads to Palu who is held up just short. Its relentless defence from the Lions. Palu has another go but is short. Hoiles picks up and dives over for the try.
  • 15
A strong shove from both teams, and the ball is scrappy which forces Jantjies to rush his kick and it goes out on the full. Waratahs secure the line-out, and they have front-foot ball at the Lions 22m. 8 phases now for the Waratahs and Phibbs is slowing it down. Lions defence is good, but the Lions give a penalty away at the ruck.
  • 12
Mostert steals the line-out and Jantjies clears for touch relieving some pressure. Waratahs win that line-out and play wide as Beale plays Horn. Mapoe tackles well and forces the error from the Tahs. Lions have a scrum near halfway.
  • 10
Waratahs run it out of the 22m before Foley kicks a deep one. Coetzee overcooks his kick and play comes all the way back to the Lions half 22m for a line-out.
  • 9
Foley converts the penalty to put the Tahs on the board.
  • 8
Waratahs now attacking in the 22m of the Lions as Palu makes a strong carry. Lions pinned for offside play and Foley lines up a shot for goal.
  • 6
Jantjies, from the corner, strikes it cleanly to raise the flags.
  • 5
De Klerk feeds and its a massive shove. The Lions get a penalty. Jantjies kicks to touch to set a line-out 5m from the Waratahs line. They secure the ball and Vorster takes a flat pass. Jantjies throws a beautiful skip pass over the top to Combrink who collects and dives over in the corner for a try.
  • 3
A big shove by the Lions but the Tahs get the ball out. Kepu makes a charging run but his offload goes forward for a Lions scrum inside Tahs territory.
  • 2
Lions start extremely hot with Kriel busting down the touchline bouncing off defenders as they make their way into the Waratahs 22m, but a loose pass forces a scrum to the Tahs.
  • 0
KICK-OFF: Waratahs flyhalf Bernard Foley gets the game underway.
  • -5
The Lions need a victory to keep their play-off hopes alive and the Tahs will be looking to top the Australian Conference.
  • -10
Welcome to live coverage of Super Rugby with the Waratahs taking on the Lions at Ellis Park
Mc lions logo 85
Mc waratahs logo 80x50
  • 15 Andries Coetzee
  • 14 Ruan Combrinck
  • 13 Lionel Mapoe
  • 12 Harold Vorster
  • 11 Courtnall Skosan
  • 10 Elton Jantjies
  • 9 Francois de Klerk
  • 8 Warren Whiteley
  • 7 Warwick Tecklenburg
  • 6 Jaco Kriel
  • 5 Franco Mostert
  • 4 Martin Muller
  • 3 Julian Redelinghuys
  • 2 Armand van der Merwe
  • 1 Schalk van der Merwe
  • 23 Nicolaas Hanekom
  • 22 Marnitz Boshoff
  • 21 Dillon Smit
  • 20 Albertus Smith
  • 19 Robert Kruger
  • 18 Ruan Dreyer
  • 17 Jacques van Rooyen
  • 16 Malcolm Marx
  • 15 Israel Folau
  • 14 Taqele . Naiyaravoro
  • 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper
  • 12 Kurtley Beale
  • 11 Rob Horne
  • 10 Bernard Foley
  • 9 Nick Phipps
  • 8 Wycliff Palu
  • 7 Michael Hooper
  • 6 Stephen Hoiles
  • 5 Dave Dennis
  • 4 Mitchell Chapman
  • 3 Sekope Kepu
  • 2 Hugh Roach
  • 1 Benn Robinson
  • 23 Matt Carraro
  • 22 Brendan McKibbin
  • 21 Pat McCutcheon
  • 20 Dean Mumm
  • 19 Jacques Potgieter
  • 18 Paddy Ryan
  • 17 Jeremy Tilse
  • 16 Dave Porecki
Mc article lions training 630

Preview: S15 Round 16, Part Two

Fri, 29 May 2015 00:20

Saturday's action covers the whole spectrum, with Super Rugby action from the top to the bottom. Jan de Koning reports.

Saturday's action covers the whole spectrum, with Super Rugby action from the top to the bottom.

Not only do we have the pace-setters going toe-to-toe, but we also have an intriguing basement battle.

It all starts at Rugby Park in New Zealand's most southern city,  Invercargill, where the Chiefs and Highlanders will meet in a crucial conference encounter. They are fourth (Chiefs) and fifth (Highlanders) on the standings, with just one point separating them.

This is followed by the all-Australian basement battle between the Western Force and Reds in Perth.

We then make the long trek across the Indian Ocean to Cape Town, where the Stormers will be under pressure to maintain their winning form in their all-South African derby against the Cheetahs - to ensure they hold onto their conference lead.

The Lions, who could claim the SA conference lead should the Stormers slip up, will face a Waratahs team without suspended forward pair Silatolu Latu and Will Skelton. Both lost their appeals on Thursday - meaning Latu's four-week and Skelton's two-week bans remain in place.

We look at Saturday's matches!

Saturday, May 30

Highlanders v Chiefs

(Rugby Park, Invercargill - Kick-off: 19.35; 07.35 GMT)

There is plenty at stake, given that just one point separates the two sides.

The most significant aspect is the number of former Southland players in the Chiefs team that will 'return home' to Invercargill.

However, one who will not feature is former Highlanders prop Jamie Mackintosh.  He was captain of the Highlanders for two seasons, before he left after the side's disappointing 2013 season.

Mackintosh, who played one Test for the All Blacks in 2008, has had a stop-start season with the Chiefs this year. The loosehead prop played in the opening half of the season, but when the team got back from South Africa he had to go to Perth for a family funeral and has not got back into the team since.

Despite not being named in the matchday 23, he said there's still a very strong Southland connection.

"We've got the McKenzie brothers [Damian and Marty] in our side, and they're from Southland.," Mackintosh told the Otago Daily Times.

"Plus we have some special players in our side."

The man they call Whoppa, said this week the Chiefs were concentrating on making sure they did not give the Highlanders any opportunities on the counterattack.

The Chiefs have been forced to make some important selections as well, with Sam Cane taking over as captain from injured skipper Liam Messam, who will miss the match with a left shoulder injury that flared up following last Friday's win over the Bulls in Rotorua.

The injury is only expected to keep the All Blacks flank out for one game.

"This is the group that is hopefully going to propel us to the play-offs and then we'll worry about guys coming back later in the round-robin," Chiefs head coach Dave Rennie told the Waikato Times.

Recent results:
2015: Highlanders won 20-17, Hamilton
2014: Highlanders won 29-25, Dunedin
2014: Chiefs won 21-19, Hamilton
2013: Chiefs won 19-7, Hamilton
2013: Chiefs won 41-27, Dunedin
2012: Chiefs won 27-21, Dunedin
2012: Highlanders won 23-19, Hamilton

Prediction: The Highlanders have won their last two against the Chiefs, a feat they had not previously achieved since 2000, when they won four in a row (1997 to 2000). Two of the last three meetings between these sides has seen the side losing at half-time go on to win the match. The Chiefs have made more offloads per game than any other team this season (18.2) while the Highlanders have allowed their opponents the most in 2015 (13.3). The Chiefs have conceded a competition-high 17.7 turnovers per game this season while opponents of the Highlanders have conceded more than against any other opponent (18.4). The Highlanders have scored more tries than any other team in the 20 minutes leading up to half-time (14), however the Chiefs have conceded the joint fewest in the same quarter (three). Not much to choose between the teams and we feel the Highlanders will edge an exciting encounter - by five points.


Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith (captain), 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Richard Buckman, 11 Patrick Osborne, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Dan Pryor, 7 John Hardie, 6 Elliot Dixon, 5 Tom Franklin, 4 Alex Ainley, 3 Josh Hohneck, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Brendon Edmonds.
Replacements: 16 Ash Dixon, 17 Daniel Lienert-Brown, 18 Ross Geldenhuys, 19 Joe Latta, 20 Gareth Evans, 21 Fumiaki Tanaka, 22 Marty Banks, 23 Jason Emery.

Chiefs: 15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Hosea Gear, 13 Charlie Ngatai, 12 Anton Lienert-Brown, 11 Bryce Heem, 10 Marty McKenzie, 9 Augustine Pulu, 8 Michael Leitch, 7 Sam Cane (captain), 6 Maama Vaipulu, 5 Michael Fitzgerald, 4 Ross Filipo, 3 Ben Tameifuna, 2 Hika Elliot, 1 Pauliasi Manu.
Replacements: 16 Quentin MacDonald, 17 Siate Tokolahi, 18 Mitchell Graham, 19 Brian Alainu'uese, 20 Mitchell Crosswell, 21 Brad Weber, 22 Andrew Horrell, 23 Tim Nanai-Williams.
Referee: Nick Briant
Assistant referees: Shane McDermott, Mike Lash
TMO: Glenn Newman

Western Force v Reds
(nib Stadium, Perth - Kick-off: 17.40; 09.40 GMT; 19.40 AEST)

This basement battle is likely to have plenty of 'feeling', as neither side wants to finish last in the competition.

Quade Cooper will make his return from injury at flyhalf for the Reds in the most significant change.

The Force have named an unchanged side, as they look to register their third win of the season.  

"Quade [Cooper] was given the all clear 10 days ago, but we wanted to keep working on his strength and bulk just to ensure we didn't compromise his return," Reds head coach Richard Graham said.

"He has been training with the squad now for about three weeks and will have no problems returning to play at this level."

The Western Force have made no secret of the fact that they will do "whatever it takes" to win what is likely to be a brutal scrap.

"While we showed a lot of character last week [in a loss to the Highlanders], particularly in defence, it's important we bring that same intensity to finish off the opportunities we're creating in attack," coach Michael Foley said.

"It's exciting to finish with three derby matches - two of them in Perth - and the guys are very driven to finish the season well."

The Perth-based franchise were beaten 18-6 by the Reds earlier this season, and prop Pek Cowan said the team are eager to turn the tables on Saturday.

"You don't normally like to lose a derby game, so for us there's definitely a bit of revenge," Cowan told the Australian Associated Press.

"We're making it very personal. We're going to make sure we do the job.

"We're playing to win.

"We're playing all Australian teams [in the last three rounds] and there's no better way to take out a bit of frustrating than to play against guys that you know quite well."

Recent results:
2015: Reds won 18-6, Brisbane
2014: Force won 30-20, Perth
2014: Force won 32-29, Brisbane
2013: Force and Reds drew 11-all, Perth
2013: Force won 19-12, Brisbane
2012: Force won 45-19, Perth
2012: Reds won 35-20, Brisbane

Prediction: The Force have only ever lost at home to the Reds once before - in 2011. The Force have won just two games this season, both against 2014 champions, the Waratahs. The Force (17 minutes and 27 seconds) and the Reds (16 minutes and 36 seconds) rank first and second for average time spent in possession this season. Despite this, the Force have made the fewest clean breaks this season, averaging just 5.1 per game. Only the Force (53 percent) have a worse kick success this season than the Reds (58 percent). The Force players seem to rise to another level in all-Australian derbies and could sneak a win - by less than a converted try.


Western Force:
15 Dane Haylett-Petty, 14 Luke Morahan, 13 Marcel Brache, 12 Kyle Godwin, 11 Nick Cummins, 10 Sias Ebersohn, 9 Ryan Louwrens, 8 Ben McCalman, 7 Matt Hodgson (captain), 6 Angus Cottrell, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Steve Mafi, 3 Tetera Faulkner, 2 Nathan Charles, 1 Pekahou Cowan
Replacements: 16 Heath Tessmann, 17 Chris Heiberg, 18 Guy Millar, 19 Sam Wykes, 20 Kane Koteka, 21 Alby Mathewson, 22 Luke Burton, 23 Patrick Dellit

Reds: 15 James O'Connor, 14 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 13 Karmichael Hunt, 12 Samu Kerevi, 11 Lachie Turner, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Jake Schatz, 7 Liam Gill, 6 Adam Thomson, 5 James Horwill, 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Greg Holmes, 2 James Hanson, 1 James Slipper (captain).
Replacements - from: Andrew Ready, Pettowa Paraka, Sam Talakai, Ed O'Donoghue, Beau Robinson, Nick Frisby, Jake McIntyre, Ben Tapuai, Jamie-Jerry Taulagi
Referee: Matt O'Brien
Assistant referees: Damien Mitchelmore, Michael Hogan
TMO: Peter Marshall

Stormers v Cheetahs
(Newlands, Cape Town - Kick-off: 17.05; 15.05 GMT)

The build-up to this game has all been about it being the final match for Naka Drotské and Os du Randt.

Drotské will retired, with Franco Smith taking over from next week, while Du Randt will head to Japan.

For the Stormers it is about maintaining their lead in the South African conference.

Stormers coach Allister Coetzee admitted that it will be a fired-up Cheetahs team arriving at Newlands.

"One should never underestimate how important this game is for those guys," Coetzee told a media briefing in Cape Town.

"They are still a good side, they are a willing side and they want to play for each other.

"There is also the emotional thing where they want to have a good send-off for their coach."

However, the Stormers' motivation is completely different.

"We have got to focus on our processes," he said, adding: "We have got to make sure our work-rate is good, our defence is sound and our set-pieces function well.

"The rain is going to come down over the weekend so we have got to make sure our scrum is still strong and solid and our line-out has improved so that is a focus."

Coetzee also felt that the Cheetahs' lowly position on the standings - third from last with just four wins from 13 outings - is misleading.

"A lot of people will look at the Cheetahs and underestimate them, we have burnt our fingers and learned from that.

"It is the business-end and you want to get your game up and running in all departments and make massive progress going forward.

"That is where you get confidence through winning tough games like this in the latter part of the competition."

Recent results:
2015: Cheetahs won 25-17, Bloemfontein
2014: Stormers won 33-0, Cape Town
2014: Cheetahs won 35-22, Bloemfontein
2013: Stormers won 28-3, Cape Town
2013: Cheetahs won 26-24, Bloemfontein
2012: Stormers won 13-6, Bloemfontein
2012: Stormers won 16-14, Cape Town

Prediction: The Cheetahs have scored just three points combined in their last two away games against the Stormers, losing on their last six trips to their conference rivals. The Cheetahs have lost their last two games by more than 20 points; the last time they lost three in a row by 20+ points was in 2010 when they lost four by 20 points or more. The Stormers (81 percent) and the Cheetahs (80 percent) rank first and second for kick success this season. The Cheetahs have the worst scrum success this season (74 percent) while the Stormers boast the third best in Super Rugby 2015 (92 percent). The Cheetahs have conceded more metres (512) and clean breaks (11.8) per game than any other team this season, while the Stormers have conceded the third fewest in each category (389 and 6.5). The Stormers are unlikely to be caught napping again, as they were earlier this season. Also, the expected inclement weather will suit the Stormers' more structured game and they should win by about 15 points.


15 Cheslin Kolbe, 14 Seabelo Senatla, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Dillyn Leyds, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Duane Vermeulen (captain), 7 Siya Kolisi, 6 Nizaam Carr, 5 Manuel Carizza, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Siyabonga Ntubeni, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Oliver Kebble, 18 Frans Malherbe, 19 Jean Kleyn, 20 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Kurt Coleman, 23 Huw Jones.
Cheetahs: 5 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Francois Venter, 12 Michael van der Spuy, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Joe Pietersen, 9 Tian Meyer, 8 Willie Britz, 7 Johannes Prinsloo, 6 Tienie Burger, 5 Francois Uys (captain), 4 Carl Wegner, 3 Nicolaas van Dyk, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 1 Danie Mienie.
Replacements: 16 Stephan Coetzee, 17 Burry Uys, 18 Ewald van der Westhuizen, 19 Steven Sykes, 20 Henco Venter, 21 Sarel Pretorius, 22 Coenie van Wyk, 23 Rayno Benjamin.

Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Jason Jaftha (South Africa), Francois Pretorius (South Africa)
TMO: Deon van Blommestein (South Africa)

Lions v Waratahs
(Ellis Park, Johannesburg - Kick-off: 19.10; 03.10 AEST; 17.10 GMT)

The Waratahs have been labelled the 'bullies' of Super Rugby, in the wake of the double ban slapped on two players.

While Tahs coach Michael Cheika naturally defended his players and the team's tactics, he was unable to convince a judicial panel that they have not crossed that thin divide between physical and foul.

The result is that their appeal - against the bans of lock Will Skelton (two weeks) and hooker Tolu Latu (four weeks) - have been dismissed.

They will have neither of these 'enforcers' available at Ellis Park on Saturday - although Latu would not have played anyway, as he wasn't even named in the tour squad.

Cheika has publicly questioned the reasons for labelling his team as being "over the top" with their physicality and asked whether people wanted a "soft" Super Rugby team or a "hard" unit.

Cheika described the performance of the 23-year-old man-mountain, Skelton, as what's expected from a forward.

"He's just playing footy and he's playing footy hard and like we should," Cheika told the Sydney Morning Herald.

"The whole thing is a moot point. Will is a big guy and that's how he played on that day, it was the nature of things.
"We just want a game played with physicality, nothing outside of the rules - just play hard. That's what our goal is, as it is for every rugby team. People either want us to be softies or hard - I'm not sure what the issue is."
Lions coach Johan Ackermann sidestepped the controversy surrounding the Waratahs and suggested his team will be up against a team of 'international' standard.

Despite the absence of the part-time Wallaby lock, Skelton, the Waratahs still have superstars like Israel Folau, Kurtley Beale, Michael Hooper and Bernard Foley.

“They've been together for quite a while now and they've obviously been coached well," Ackermann told a media briefing at the team's base in Johannesburg.

"If you look at the number of Australian caps in that side it is almost like the Lions against Australia," Ackermann added.

“So that is the challenge that lies ahead for us, but it is a great one for the players and for the team, against a quality side."

Recent results:
2014 : Waratahs won 41-13, Sydney
2011: Waratahs won 29-12, Sydney
2010: Waratahs won 73-12, Sydney
2009: Waratahs won 38-33, Johannesburg
2008: Waratahs won 26-3, Sydney
2007: Waratahs won 25-16, Johannesburg

Prediction: The Johannesburg-based side's solitary win against the Tahs was in 1997 - although as the Cats (combined with the Cheetahs) they won in 2001. Since then they have conceded an average of 39 points per game and scored just 15 themselves. Since 2012, the Brumbies (twice) are the only Australian side to win in South Africa against the Lions. The Waratahs have averaged 22 defenders beaten per game this season, the second most in Super Rugby, however the Lions have the best tackle success in 2015 (88 percent). The Tahs have scored more first phase tries than any other team this season (19) while the Lions have scored a joint-high nine tries after seven-plus phases. These two sides boast three of the top six tacklers in Super Rugby (Warren Whiteley - 204 from 211, Warwick Tecklenburg -153 from 159 and Michael Hooper - 144 from 165). There is no doubt the Waratahs will start as favourites and should win - while the Lions will do well to keep it down to single digits.


15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Francois de Klerk, 8 Warren Whiteley (captain), 7 Warwick Tecklenburg, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Martin Muller, 3 Julian Redelinghuys, 2 Armand van der Merwe, 1  Schalk van der Merwe.
Replacements: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Corne Fourie, 18 Ruan Dreyer, 19 Robert Kruger, 20 Albertus Smith, 21 Dillon Smi, 22 Marnitz Boshoff, 23 Nicolaas Hanekom.
Waratahs: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Taqele Naiyaravoro, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Rob Horne, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Wycliff Palu, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Stephen Hoiles, 5 David Dennis (captain), 4 Mitchell Chapman, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Hugh Roach, 1 Benn Robinson.
Replacements: 16 David Porecki, 17 Jeremy Tilse, 18 Paddy Ryan, 19 Jacques Potgieter, 20 Dean Mumm, 21 Pat McCutcheon, 22 Brendan McKibbin, 23 Matt Carraro.

Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Lesego Legoete (South Africa), Jaco van Heerden (South Africa)
TMO: Johan Greeff (South Africa)

Compiled by Jan de Koning

Statistical information provided by Opta Sports

Interviews this week!

Mc article lions v waratahs 630

Lions lower Waratahs' colours

Sat, 30 May 2015 19:17

REPORT: The Lions sealed what is now their best season by some distance, with a 27-22 win over a hard-charging Waratahs team.

The Lions sealed what is now their best season by some distance, with a 27-22 win over a hard-charging Waratahs team at Ellis Park on Saturday.

It was the Johannesburg-based team's ninth win of the season and means they will go to Newlands next week to face the Stormers in a match that may well decide the South African conference.

The losing bonus point saw the Waratahs move back to the top of the Australian conference, while the Lions remain in seventh place.

The result by the gutsy and skilful Lions team also kept alive their hopes of reaching the play-offs.

The Lions are three points behind the Stormers in the South African conference, after the Cape Town outfit scored a bonus-point 42-12 win over the Cheetahs earlier Saturday.

To have any chance of a first appearance in the play-offs, the Lions must beat the Stormers in Cape Town next weekend.

That will be the last league match of the season for the Johannesburg team, while the Cape Town side are away to the Durban-based Sharks a week later.

After building a 17-point second-half advantage, the Lions conceded two tries and then missed three penalty kicks as a tense finish unfolded.

But when the Australian side moved menacingly into South African territory after the full-time hooter sounded, they surrendered possession at a maul to suffer a fifth loss this season.

Waratahs contributed to their downfall by having two players yellow-carded.

Wing Rob Horne was sent to the sin bin on 27 minutes for a dangerous 'spear' tackle on Lions centre Lionel Mapoe.

And South Africa-born substitute flank Jacques Potgieter got an early second-half yellow card for a late, no-arms tackle on Lions No.8 and skipper Warren Whiteley.   

It could have been worse, as Waratahs scrumhalf Nick Phipps escape a card - just - after smashing a Lions player from behind, way off the ball.

The broad smile of Warren Whiteley after a great advertisement for the Southern Hemisphere championship suggested he had won a multi-million-dollar lottery.

"This was a huge win as we had so much respect for the defending champions," he said.

"I am so proud of my boys for the way we attacked and defended. The manner in which we kept the Waratahs out at times was awesome."  

Waratahs skipper and lock Dave Dennis admitted a sloppy first-half showing, which ended with his team trailing 10-17, proved costly.

"We were poor in the opening half with average defending and some set-piece problems," he conceded.

"You cannot afford to give these Lions momentum and that is what we did. Our discipline was also disappointing.

"But I am proud of the way we fought back during the second half."

Wing Ruan Combrinck scored a sixth-minute try converted by flyhalf Elton Jantjies for the Lions before Waratahs playmaker Bernard Foley kicked a penalty.

Foley converted a try by flank Stephen Hoiles to give the Waratahs the lead for the only time, Jantjies levelled off a penalty and converted another Combrinck try to close the first-half scoring.

By the 49th minute the Lions were 27-10 ahead - as Jantjies slotted another penalty and converted a try from centre Harold Vorster.

But Waratahs centre Kurtley Beale created tries for centre Adam Ashley-Cooper and Horne, one of which Foley converted, to set up a tense climax.

Man of the match:  Adam Ashley-Cooper is in some of the best form of his life, while Taqele Naiyaravoro was a monster with ball in hand and on defence. Michael Hooper is never far from the action. As has so often been the case this season flyhalf Bernard Foley was the Waratahs' general and the man that gave them direction. You can put down all 23 names from the Lions' team sheet. This was a team effort - a show of expansive intent, excitement, entertaining rugby and bravery. It would be unfair to single out individuals in such a fine performance.


For the Lions:
Combrink 2, Vorster
Cons: Jantjies 3
Pens: Jantjies 2

For the Waratahs:
Hoiles, Ashley-Cooper, Horne
Cons: Foley 2
Pen: Foley

Yellow cards: Rob Horne (Waratahs, 27 - foul play, spear tackle), Jacques Potgieter (Waratahys, 44 - foul play, no-arms tackle without the ball)


15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Francois de Klerk, 8 Warren Whiteley (captain), 7 Warwick Tecklenburg, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Martin Muller, 3 Julian Redelinghuys, 2 Armand van der Merwe, 1  Schalk van der Merwe.
Replacements: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Corne Fourie, 18 Ruan Dreyer, 19 Robert Kruger, 20 Albertus Smith, 21 Dillon Smit, 22 Marnitz Boshoff, 23 Nicolaas Hanekom.
Waratahs: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Taqele Naiyaravoro, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Rob Horne, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Wycliff Palu, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Stephen Hoiles, 5 David Dennis (captain), 4 Mitchell Chapman, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Hugh Roach, 1 Benn Robinson.
Replacements: 16 David Porecki, 17 Jeremy Tilse, 18 Paddy Ryan, 19 Jacques Potgieter, 20 Dean Mumm, 21 Pat McCutcheon, 22 Brendan McKibbin, 23 Matt Carraro.

Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Lesego Legoete (South Africa), Jaco van Heerden (South Africa)
TMO: Johan Greeff (South Africa)

Ruan Combrinck (5min), Ruan Combrinck (34min), and Harold Vorster (47min)
Stephen Hoiles (18min), Adam Ashley-Cooper (50min), and Rob Horne (58min)
Elton Jantjies (6min), Elton Jantjies (35min), and Elton Jantjies (48min)
Bernard Foley (19min) and Bernard Foley (59min)
Elton Jantjies (28min) and Elton Jantjies (43min)
Bernard Foley (9min)
Rob Horne (26min) and Jacques Potgieter (45min)
VENUE Johannesburg
REFEREE Jaco Peyper